Monday, January 13, 2014

Exceptional Chocolate Chip Cookies

Exceptional Chocolate Chip Cookies
So, you know...I like cookies. Particularly chocolate chip cookies.

I'm quite picky about them. To the point that I rarely, if ever, buy cookies (especially if I'm in Ohio) because they-with very few exceptions-never live up to the grand majority of the cookies that come out of my very own kitchen. And even within the spectrum of chocolate chip cookies I've made...I could not tell you my favorite recipe. I love each of them in different ways for different reasons. They're all delicious. So, I don't really like to categorize any of my recipes as the "best". But I can definitely use the word "exceptional".
Exceptional Chocolate Chip Cookies
Kristin, AKA Baker Bettie, is just as much as a cookie fiend as I am. Actually, I'd call her an expert. She's had her own cookie baking business and she is amazing when it comes to delving into the science of baking (particularly with cookies). This recipe is from her, and she has called it "the best".

And I totally get it.
Exceptional Chocolate Chip Cookies
One of the big things that makes these cookies exceptional is the quality of ingredients. The better the quality, the better the cookie. Then we've gotten rid of that silly granulated sugar and just use all brown sugar (which is pretty much the source of all things delicious in a CCC. It makes them complex and adds to the chewiness and texture). Oat flour is good. And, of course, browned butter, toasted pecans, and sea salt reign supreme in making things taste AHHHMAZING.

Funny story: At Christmas the topic of sweet and salty food came up with one of Michael's cousins. And I told him how much I love to put salt on chocolate chip cookies. And he was like...shocked. He did not like the sound of that. Michael jumped in, telling him " works. It's good. Trust me."

Ok, Steve? Trust us!

Exceptional Chocolate Chip Cookies

Exceptional Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 8-24 cookies...depending on size.
  • 18 tbsp. unsalted butter, browned and cooled
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted and cooled
  • 1 and 1/2 cups dark brown muscavado (or regular dark brown) sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or 2 tsp. mexican vanilla extract)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt (+ extra kosher or sea salt for sprinkling)
  • 2 cups dark (at least 55%) chocolate chips or chunks
  • 2 cups oat flour (to make homemade oat flour, process oats in a food processor until a fine, flour like consistency)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • At least several hours before you're ready to bake the cookies:
    • Brown the butter: Place butter in a (preferably light colored) saucepan and melt over medium heat. Whisk consistently as the butter foams, bubbles, and eventually turns an amber color and small brown bits form. Immediately remove from heat and pour into a large, heatproof, bowl (make sure to scrape in all the little brown bits). Let cool until it becomes solid again.
    • Toast the pecans: Place them in a pan over medium heat and stir, move around, consistently until fragrant and toasted, but not burned. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a large cooking sheet (spray with cooking spray or line with parchment paper or silpat).
  • Beat together the cooled browned butter with brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.
  • Mix in baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix in chocolate and pecans.
  • Mix in oat flour until fully combined, then carefully stir in all purpose flour-do not overmix!
  • Scoop large rounds of cookie dough onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher or sea salt.
  • Bake about 9 minutes, until firm around the edges.
  • Cool on sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Exceptional Chocolate Chip Cookies
Crisp yet tender and chewy and gooey and AHHH!
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